The New India Foundation has announced the shortlist for the very first Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize. The award, which was set up earlier in 2018 for works of non-fiction focusing on India after 1947, comes with a cash prize of Rs 15 lakh. The six titles on this year’s shortlist range from Abhinav Chandrachud’s book on free speech in India to Sujatha Gidla’s retelling of independent India in the form of a personal history of a Dalit family. The complete shortlist is below:
- The Republic of Rhetoric: Free Speech and the Constitution of India, Abhinav Chandrachud (Penguin RandomHouse)
- Remnants of a Separation: A History of Partition Through Material Memory, Aanchal Malhotra (HarperCollins)
- The Broken Ladder: The Paradox and Potential of India’s One Billion, Anirudh Krishna (Penguin Random House)
- Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India, Sujatha Gidla, (HaperCollins)
- When Crime Pays: Money and Muscle in Indian Politics, Milan Vaishnav (Yale University Press)
- Social Justice Through Inclusion: The Consequences of Electoral Quotas in India, Francesca R Jensenius (Oxford University Press, New York)
The prize was established to further the mission of the New India Foundation, which awards fellowships to scholars and writers researching the history of independent India, organises lectures, and publishes books on history and culture.
“We were very pleased with the range and diversity of the submissions,” Chairman of the jury, Ramachandra Guha said. “With memoir, oral history, political theory and public policy all represented on it, the shortlist reflects the Foundation’s ecumenical charter of recognising high-quality non-fiction regardless of genre and ideology.”
The winning title will be announced in October at the Bangalore Literature Festival.